Welcome to the Collingwood CWA



We love visitors and new members.

Our next meeting is on Monday 24th June at the Collingwood Library  6.00 – 8.00pm. Our Winter meetings will be here each month on Monday evenings:  29th July, 26th August, 30th September.  These dates had previously been listed here as Tuesdays – oops sorry!

When the weather warms up later in the year we’ll return to Number 18, Collingwood Children’s Farm, St Helier St Abbotsford  for our monthly Monday night meetingsThis is the old farm house near the front gate of the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Details will be posted here.

If you’re a member, the agenda and minutes will be on the Members’ page. If you’re not a member yet, please come along and say hello. If you’d like more info about the branch, send us an email to CollingwoodCWA@gmail.com.


Bonfire Cupcakes and Chocolate Fire Crackles

It’s nearly time again for the Winter Solstice Bonfire at the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

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We’ll have hundreds of freshly-made bonfire cupcakes and chocolate fire crackles to sell for charity.  It’s a magical night.  See you there…

As part of Refugee Week, these funds will be going towards refugee support services.



Hear what we need to do urgently to protect a resilient and sustainable Melbourne foodbowl for both farmers and consumers.

Monday 29 July 2019, Collingwood Library.

largeA new report outlines a vision and roadmap for preserving Melbourne’s foodbowl for current and future generations as a fundamental building block in a healthy, resilient, sustainable and fair food system.

We are delighted that one of the authors – Rachel Carey will attend our July 29 meeting (at the Collingwood Library) to talk to us about the crisis facing our foodbowls and what must be done to protect agricultural land as it comes under increasing pressures.

Please put this in your diaries as this issue is very much one at the heart of CWA values and interests.

This roadmap was developed through a collaborative process involving a wide range of stakeholders. Five key areas of policy action underpin a resilient and sustainable city foodbowl – farmland protection, farm viability, water access, nutrient recycling and sustainable farming

  • Farmland should be permanently protected on Melbourne’s fringe by maintaining Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary, mapping agricultural land and introducing a new agricultural ‘zone’
  • Promoting the viability of farming in Melbourne’s foodbowl is as important as protecting farmland
  • Farm viability should be promoted by investing in infrastructure that enables small-medium scale farmers to gain greater control of supply chains, ensuring that peri-urban producers are able to access relevant funding streams and applying local government ‘farm rates’ to all actively farmed land
  • Water reuse for food production should be increased to address water scarcity in a warming climate
  • Water reuse should be increased by adopting an integrated water management approach to managing water assets in farming areas, developing integrated assessment frameworks to cost delivery of recycled water and investigating options for greater reuse of storm water
  • City foodbowls offer opportunities to close the loop by returning valuable nutrients from city organic waste back to the soil
  • Nutrient recycling on farm should be promoted by preventing contamination of organic waste streams, collaborating with farmers to develop ‘fit for purpose’ compost products and establishing a Melbourne Nutrient Recycling Network
  • Sustainable farming should be incentivised in Melbourne’s foodbowl
  • Sustainable farming approaches should be incentivised through local government rate rebates, direct payments and extension services aimed at peri-urban farmers
  • A diverse range of sustainable farming approaches should be promoted to increase the resilience of the city’s food system, including regenerative and agroecological approaches as well as sustainable intensification and closed-environment agriculture

All welcome. Bring your friends.


Fruit preserving workshop at the Collingwood Children’s Farm

March 17, 2019

One of our members, Trish ran a workshop for us showing how to successfully preserve fruit.

We all went home with jars of preserved fruit and, armed with a few secrets, the confidence to preserve the last of the summer fruit to enjoy through winter.



Collingwood CWA supports inspiring Climate Strikers

March 15, 2019. 

Joining the tens of thousands of striking students at the Melbourne rally calling for urgent action on climate change was truly inspiring. 

We showed thanks for their commitment and courage by baking hundreds of biscuits and handing them out along the way.

The response was wonderfully affirming and members had many conversations about CWA concern for sustainability.  (See more here)


Preserving Workshop

cwa-preserving-workshopFood Swap

Got more veggies, fruit or herbs than you can eat? Come and meet your neighbours and swap your surplus.

cfs 2019 dates


Hemp Crops for a Thirsty Land?

See our article in the latest edition of Victorian Country Woman magazine, December 2018. We’ve been trialling hemp textiles for use in the kitchen. There’s more information and instructions on our Earth Bag Challenge page.




State CWA Christmas Fare, Saturday 1 Dec – Umina, Toorak


Our last event for 2018 was our stall at the annual Christmas Fare held at CWA Vic HQ in Toorak. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was a lot of interest in our handmade, plastic-free craft.

We sold our beeglad, hemp scrubbies, hemp dishcloths,  repurposed feedbag totes, Xmas bunting and other handmade Xmas items.

Thanks to Amy for organising the stall and everyone who made things and helped on the day. Special thanks to Rach for massive Xmas bunting effort!


If you bought some of our crafts and are looking for the instructions to make yourself or to find the materials. Click through to our Earth Bag page.





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Collingwood CWA is a wholehearted supporter of the Uluru Statement From the Heart.

We believe it is a powerful and moving Statement and should be read by as many Australians as possible. We support the campaign for a First Nations Voice: Put it to the People.

High Res Photo Uluru Statement

As part of the week of action for a First Nations Voice (4-10 November 2018), our members handed out copies of the Statement at the farmers’ market at the Collingwood Children’s farm on Saturday morning 10 November.

You can read the Statement here

Here’s our set-up at the farm with our new banner…


And because we’re CWA, we gave away a heart-shaped shortbread with each copy.


See more pics in our photo gallery. We had a couple of special visitors…


In National Childrens Week, a book launch ‘Jumbuck’s Misadventure’ by Sally Nowlan.

Thursday 25th October, Collingwood Childrens Farm Barn, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

Jumbuck's Misadventure front cover

We met the author and even patted a lamb….(more on our Events page)


Sharing our Surplus

We’ve got a plan afoot for a local food share following our Barn Yarn “Sharing our Surplus’. We’ll keep you posted on our Events page when the Blueprint is finalised.



Gender Equality

Guest speaker for our September meeting was – our own CWA member, Paula Hanasz. Paula participated in a jury of more than 100 Victorians who gathered to discuss the Andrews Labor Government’s proposed Gender Equality Bill.

The draft of the Gender Equality Bill proposes “that Victorian Government departments, public sector entities like hospitals and TAFEs, and local governments plan, promote, set targets for and report on gender equality.

The Citizens’ Jury is being asked to consider a critical element of the Bill –the setting of quotas for women in public sector leadership positions. The Jury will recommend what gender equality quotas are fair, and how they can best be implemented.”

For those interested in the Victorian government Citizens’ Jury on gender equality, or who missed Paula’s talk here is a summary Paula wrote for Women’s Agenda: https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/a-citizens-jury-in-victoria-managed-to-reach-a-consensus-on-gender-quotas/

We also commend the article  on quotas by Chris Wallace from ANU in the Conversation.



The dynamic Luz Restrepo from SisterWorks in Richmond was our guest speaker at our August meeting.  Sisterworks is a not-for-profit that exists to help women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. The social enterprise currently supports 171 women from 55 countries, including 88 ‘Entrepreneurs’ – who create and sell their wares  with the remaining sisters supporting this effort behind the scenes.


Collingwood CWA was delighted to make a $1800 contribution to their work from the proceeds of our recent cupcakes and crackles stall at the Collingwood Children’s Farm Solstice Bonfire.


Barn Yarns

We had a great Sunday afternoon on the 12th August with our friends at the Collingwood Children’s Farm at our first Barn Yarn, sitting by the fire eating scones and jam, and discussing how fashion can be reimagined for a sustainable world: Consume Cake Not Clothes.



More pics on our Events page.


Magazine article

Read all about our Night of Cake and Community Action in the July 2018 Victorian Country Woman magazine…



Local Somali Weavers

At our June meeting it was such a pleasure to welcome some talented local ladies. Muhubo demonstrated Somali weaving techniques and shared her stories.








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